Legacy Media Lied: Disney Scrapped Florida Expansion Due to Economy, Not DeSantis

Disney has officially abandoned plans to open up a new employee campus in Lake Nona, but as it turns out, it has nothing to do with Florida Governor DeSantis. Many legacy media outlets blamed this scrapping of a billion-dollar investment on rising tensions with Governor DeSantis. However, it’s been revealed to likely be part of efforts to cut costs after months of lackluster revenue.

Disney

In a letter obtained by FOX Business, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products Josh D’Amaro told employees that the company is no longer moving forward with its planned 1 billion dollar office developments in Lake Nona, citing “new leadership and changing business conditions.”

The original Lake Nona Campus was announced in 2021 and was intended to house several thousand employees moving from Disney’s California HQ to Florida’s “business-friendly climate.”

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Since then, however, much has changed. Disney publically condemned DeSantis for signing the Parental Rights in education act, limiting discussions of sex and gender in public schools, and ensuring that they’re age-appropriate; in response, DeSantis has attacked Disney’s special tax and governance privileges granted by the state that has previously enjoyed.

Based on this, many mainstream outlets, such as CNBC, concluded that the House of Mouse abandoned a billion-dollar project due to this confrontation with the Florida Governor. The reality points to a much more significant problem for Disney than a Governor they want to “get even” with.

It’s more likely that the abandonment is part of Disney’s more significant move to cut costs after lackluster earnings. The trend started with mass layoffs within the corporation. According to the Disney Tourist blog, the releases were extensive enough to warrant two rounds.

 

“A new memo sent to employees by CEO Bob Iger, indicates that the Walt Disney Company will begin layoffs this week with leaders communicating the news directly to the first group of impacted employees over the next few days. A second, larger round of layoffs will happen in April 2023 with several thousand more staff reductions. Iger expects to commence the final round of layoffs before the beginning of Summer 2023 to reach the company’s 7,000-job target. As a reminder, these layoffs were announced at the beginning of February, and hinted at as far back as last holiday season.”

The Mickey Blog detailed Disney’s financial struggles, which many have blamed on the company’s overreliance on re-makes, and progressive themes in original content, such as Strange World.

 

“Disney’s streaming media division, its bread, and butter, “earned” $4.9 billion for the most recent quarter. However, Disney wrote down $1.474 billion in losses related to its various streaming services.”

The theory that DeSantis drove Disney away is even more laughable in light of the full text of D’Amaro’s announcement, promising further Disney expansion in the site eventually, even while abandoning one of its facets.

“We have plans to invest 17 Billion and create 13,000 jobs over the next ten years. I hope we’re able to do so.”

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However, the final nail in the coffin for the narrative comes from DeSantis press secretary Jeremy Redfern, who said that Florida was never confident that the project would happen in a statement to FOX Business, meaning canceling it was not exactly a shocking loss for the Sunshine State.

“Disney announced the possibility of a Lake Nona campus nearly two years ago. Nothing ever came of the project, and the state was unsure whether it would come to fruition. Given the company’s financial straits, falling market cap, and declining stock price, it is unsurprising that they would restructure their business operations and cancel unsuccessful ventures.”


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